Be Always Safe with Christmas light displays

Published: 26 Nov 2015 9:20am

With Christmas lights starting to appear on homes and businesses across regional Queensland, Ergon Energy is urging customers to keep electrical safety top of mind.

Executive General Manager Customer Service Peter Billing said Ergon did not want to see the festive mood dampened by unsafe electrical practices leading to dangerous incidents.

“Nor do we want to see customers caught by surprise by higher power bills in the New Year as a consequence of the enjoyment their decorations provide for the community,” he said.

Mr Billing said solar-powered festive lights were an increasingly popular option that were safe, environmentally friendly and did not add to power bills.

“These LED lights are powered by individual solar sensors, so they are left out in the sun during the day and the lights gain enough energy to shine brightly through the night,” he said.

Mr Billing said Christmas lights should be used only as directed by the manufacturer, especially when erecting displays outdoors.

"Ergon Energy recommends that only extra low voltage equipment be used outdoors where it is exposed to the weather,” he said.

“Christmas lighting must be installed in a safe manner so circuits are not overloaded, while any electrical work needs to be done by a qualified electrician.

“Festive lighting stored for 11 months has been subject to heat, humidity and possibly insects or rodents, so it should be checked thoroughly by a qualified electrician before being re-used.

“As additional safeguards, Ergon Energy recommends fitting an approved safety switch to all Christmas lighting installations and turning them off when going to bed.”

Mr Billing said customers should check for any product recalls affecting their Christmas lights at the electrical safety website

He also reminded residents that Christmas lights and decorations must not be attached to Ergon Energy assets, such as power poles or stay wires.

Mr Billing said that with festive lights and displays becoming more elaborate, it was timely to consider their potential impact on power bills.

“Customers can enjoy the spectacle of Christmas and keep the cost to a minimum by adopting Ergon’s energy saving tips,” he said.

These include:                                             

  • Convert to strings of solar festive lights – they use free energy from the sun.
  • Use LED festive lights, which use less electricity and last longer than incandescent lights.
  • Limit the time lights are on – turn them on later in the evening and off when you go to bed.
  • Use timers to limit light displays to no more than four evening hours a day.

Media Contact: Rod Rehbein
Phone: 4154 9813 or 0407 031 072

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